To unpack emotions.. a place to feel safe.

Kenny has been gone for 3 years and 5 months.. some days it feels like yesterday while others feel like eternity. I’ve mentioned before how time doesn’t seem the same since our son passed away, the days all mesh together. I have a hard time realizing that this year is already almost half way over. Where does the time go??? I feel older now. Time keeps flying by, like a fast forward button got pushed. With twinges of life creeping into my body I also feel more aches. As if to waken from a 3 year sleep. Stiff and deflated. I feel a change coming and I pray it’s good.

Change is something I loath at this stage in my life. I do not like it.. I’ve had enough change to last me a life time. I am content in my little bubble of quiet, simple, non confrontational existance. My once fierce, love for adventure has dulled inside of my now panicky anxious self. But I’ve grown accustomed to my new self. Safe, secure, weiry of those things that can hurt. I steer clear of the what ifs that life can throw at me because I have enough that fill my head.

My new normal may be called a rut to others but it’s where my survival mode has sustained me. And out of fear of a set back, here I will remain until my mind and body decide it’s time to pick up and move forward to uncomfortable waters, unknown reactions, and possiblity. Not quite a coward but not strong either. I balance in between life and lingering in existance. But I am here.

With love, hugs and understanding! May we all find peace wherever we are in our journey.

Angela, KennyBugs momma!

Remembering when..

This caught my attention today in a big big way. It’s a beautiful picture and the saying, like a bell, rang so loud for me.. it is very true!

My memories before December 21, 2016 are clear, crisp, like new.. I can remember dates, places and events like it was yesterday.. ask me what I did 4 days ago and I may or may not recall. It is like a time difference that I can not quite explain. The days seem to mesh together.

Fighting for normal, one day at a time. Remembering time can not be moved or taken back. I keep moving forward while holding on tight to my yesterdays, they are my memories with my son. They say time heals all wounds.. not true. They say never look back your future is ahead of you, yes but my son is back there. Not everything is as simple as it sounds.

With a heavy heart, mind and soul..

Love, hugs and understanding to all!

Angela, KennyBugs momma!

Sprinkles..

When nature offers a warm ray of sunshine, a beautiful song just for you from gods creatures, unseen, but you know they are there. Birds, frogs, the trees swaying.. it all culminates into a peaceful tune. With the creek gently flowing by it brings you calmness. The air feels new, smells like earth and fills your lungs with purity. Spring.

Our creek!

Spring sprinkles a ray of hope for all, it’s full of new beginnings, new growth and so much beautiful transformation everywhere you look. The array of colors, the hummingbirds are back for their months long stay, baby birds are getting their feathers and soon frolicking fawns will be seen. It is all so lovely and amazing. To stop and smell the flowers and take in all Gods wonderful sprinkles of happiness that come with the season. I feel blessed to witness this each year.

Beautiful sunset picture I took!

I stop and admire each of Springs sunsets, each so different, special and priceless. I take in all of Springs blessings because my son can’t. Kenny can no longer experience all of the wonders the simple country life we live have to offer and for him I will never take it for granted again. When a butterfly lands on my shoulder I think of my son, when an eagle soars over the house I think of my son.. my son is everywhere because I think of him in all the beauty of nature.

With sadness and grief we are allowed to feel happiness nomatter how far and in between it may be.

Love, hugs and understanding to all!

Angela, Kennybugs Momma!

Grateful. Thankful. Humbled.

Sometimes it seems as though the sadness, anger, desperation and heartache I am feeling can be read on my face and goes from mind to words very easily…sometimes it stays bottled up nice and tight. So many feelings all the time, mixed and matched with whatever the day brings. With a raw heart and open wounds, I forget to stop and express my thanks to those who have kept me going since we lost our Kennybug. I am extremely grateful and forever indebted to so many whose support and care have been invaluable to me during the last 3 years and (almost) 5 months without my child. The kindness that has been shown to us comes from all parts of this world and is truly humbling and a profound honor to know that now and for always our Kenny touched the lives and hearts of many. Kenny left behind the legacy of pure kindness. Those who knew Kenny, even if they only met him one time, remember our son. I’ve been told that over and over again. With Kenny’s after school job he had many customers who remembered him by his smile and the stand up kindness he bestowed upon them. That is a gift! There have been many many more who never even met our son but instead saw a picture of our son in the many media outlets, read an article or heard about him on the radio have said that they instantly felt heartbroken for Kenny, for us, and felt compelled to reach out to me. What a gift! Most comment on Kenny’s eyes and how you could see straight to his kind soul and they just felt connected to him. What a gift!

All of the things we knew and loved so deeply about our son.. the world sees, the world listened to Kenny’s story and cares for Kenny as well. I think in part because Kennybugs story was so unheard of and was considered unprecedented at the time and for the first time people from everywhere could see that my child could very easily be anyone’s child, in the sense that here we were a family with a normal everyday life, working, loving, happy family and this happened to our son and our family, that meant it could happen to anyone. I think Kenny’s story and those that have stuck with us through this journey have been able to help in the spread of Awareness and Prevention. With the “We Roar For KennyBug! #BEKIND #ITSEASY” initiative it has helped children and adults have a voice. A platform to which they can stand and say this is happening to my child or themselves. To help. What a gift! If Kenny would want anything… it would be to help others. I am blessed to be his momma, it is my job to continue to try to help as many as possible through Kenny’s story.

The care and support we recieve helps us tremendously, it reminds us constantly that kindness will prevail. We have recieved some of the most treasured of gifts. Drawings of Kenny done by fantastic talented artists. Thoughtful cards. Endless messages of thoughts and prayers that provide me strength. Just amazing kindness that is so unexpected but so much appreciated. It helps so much knowing we are not alone.

A 5th grade class from California made a book about Bullying and dedicated it to Kenny. It is one of my most treasured gifts. Priceless and means so much. A group of young children heard my sons story and set out to help spread the importance of kindness and acceptance. What a gift!

A soldier who was overseas sent us a U.S. flag that had been flown over the headquarters in Baghdad in honor of our Kenny. MSG. Michael Sass made sure I recieved it from overseas. With it was a wonderful letter and a certificate with Kenny’s name to commemorate our son. All while fighting for our county, he took the time to let our family know he cared. What a gift! We will never beable to thank him enough. It is priceless and will always be treasured.

Headquarters!

I will never beable to express to each and every single person who deserves a Thank You! Our family and friends are wonderful and irreplaceable to us. They have struggled with us and we help each other through each day. What a gift!

It helps to stop and remember all the things to be thankful for and to allow some of that joy to be felt. Tell our loved ones that we love them, and often.. that we appreciate them and all they do. Give credit where credit is due and thanks where gratitude resides because without the loyal love and support of those around us we would be lost. Thank you!

With Love, hugs and understanding.. here’s to hoping for a good day today. Some joy while we remember our angel children, a smile, a laugh.

Sincerly, Angela, Kennybug’s momma!

My Mother’s Day prayer…

Today, May 10th 2020 Mark’s the 4th Mother’s Day with KennyBug in Heaven. Our angel. The missing link in my everyday. A part of my heart, mind and soul is with Kenny today, like all days but today more so than others. I find the despair in my heart growing as the day progresses.

KennyBug! A day on the river!

What I wouldnt give to hear his sweet voice say with so much love and legit happiness ” Happy Mother’s Day Momma” with a specially made card and some fresh beautiful flowers from my all my boys, that’s what I miss. Seeing all their faces, feeling each of their individual hugs, each so different, each my pride and joys. I miss those days so much. It’s what so many take for granted. You never imagine one day you’ll spend a Mother’s Day without all your children, never. Every other thought goes out in a prayer to your angel child, closing your eyes for a moment pushing all your love as far up to Heaven as you can to reach your child. To have them feel your love, to know they are always in your thoughts, especially today. For our child you will always be and celebrated on this day, grateful for the day God gave me you. Being a mother 4 times over I’ve been blessed.. and he blessed me with 17 years with Kenny by my side to celebrate this day. Now I have to learn each day, each month, each holiday to get through the best I can.

I will spend this Mothers Day doing the best I can. Loving each of my children. I pray they all know my love is forever. I pray that they always know there are no boundaries and that my heart beats for them.

My Mother’s Day prayer for all of us! Those of us who are missing our child I pray we can all find some peace today knowing that our Angel’s are always with us.. when we remember them, a moment in time, we keep them close and they will always be alive in our thoughts.

With Love, hugs and understanding Happy Mother’s Day, from one grieving parent to another.

Angela, KennyBugs Momma!!

#BEKIND

#ITSEASY

Night into Day!

In the still of the night I sit after a long shower, as hot as I could take it as if to wash all the sadness off of me, to ease the panic in my head and the pounding in my heart. The night hours are hardest for me.

I don’t sleep well at night. During the day I can sleep a little here and there but at night not often at all. The night brings out different emotions, thoughts and it is torture that has come to be like groundhog day. Over and over again I find myself up, alone, with to much on my mind. It’s the silence that allows me time to think. If I cry I dont have to hide it. I can look through pictures of Kenny and not worry about making anyone else sad. I can walk outside in the middle of the night and wish upon my sons named star ” Kennybugs” star and talk to him if I want to and not look insane. If I want to write, I can without distraction, night time is my friend and enemy. My family makes jokes about my room being my bat cave during the day.. kinda true. I dont “hide” there but it is my safe zone. It’s where I go when there is to much noise, to much staring back at me that needs to be done and where I go to recharge my thresh hold. Although I maintain some sort of normal on a daily bases. Clean on days that my body agrees, hang out on my porch when the weather is nice, take rides with my husband around the farm but mostly my bat cave is where you’ll find me. My children and husband all come in and surround the bed and we talk, catch up, do homework, laugh and tell jokes like any other family, just not around a dinner table, like most.

I dont have many friends but the ones I do have are great, supportive and always offer an ear, shoulder, and it means so much but I haven’t seen them in a long time. Months before Covid-19. I have met so many kind caring supporters through Kenny’s memorial FB page that I call friends and they are all such gifts in my life. I am so grateful. I am blessed with some amazing family, my inlaws are wonderful people/friends. We get together as often as we can but that hasn’t been possible for awhile. My circle is small but meaningful. I’m not a phone talk person, texting.. sometimes. I have become horribly great at not returning texts. Forgetful, avoidance, procrastination and selfishness keeps me bottled up to myself. And I’m quite a pro at it. But I appreciate each and every one of them whole heartedly.

I give out no false impressions that I handle my grief healthy or right. I dont pretend to be the best wife, mother or friend that I could be because I’m far from it. But what I do say is that I do try. I reach out to family and friends to just say Hi. I make a point to tell my youngest children several times a day that I love them so very much. My husband is so strong and takes on so much of a load to pick up my slack and to me he is irreplaceable… my rock and best friend… almost 22 years worth of living, growing up together, love, caring, raising 4 boys, struggling through life, coming so far from the two young kids we once were… we thought we had made our way through this world and there was nothing that could stand in our way. We had overcome so much. And then it all came to hault. Life as we knew it had ended. Our child died. It’s so hard to even write those words.

He died. He died. He died. In the early morning hours on Dec 21st, 2016. I have a hard time with the words ” died, dead, deceased” I use words like ” angel, passed way, left this world” they dont sound as final to me. I have learned these little mind games with myself to lessen the pain.

But the painful truth is our child died. We have had to learn how to be us. The wife and husband, momma and daddy, friend and family. We balance each other in the way we always have but in a much deeper form. When one of us is down and out the stronger one stands taller and carries the other until we get through the troubled waters. Only now those waters won’t reced and give us a break from the waves. They just keep beating us up against the rocks and with little time to heal before the next crash. My husband takes on the brunt and carries me way more than I do him. It’s not a difference between man and woman, mother or father, stronger or weaker.. it comes down to my husband doing what he sees needs to be done. I admire that so much about him. He grieves our son so much but he can do it and still maintain normal life. I wish I could do that. Maybe one day I will. I worry somedays that he will resent my inability to function normally.. I pray ( I am a praying lady) for strength daily. Not only so I can help myself but for my family. I know they miss me. The me I was. The mom I was. I miss her too. I dont know how to be her anymore when I am so broken and lost without all of my children. A mother needs all of her children.

I write this to help myself but to also let those going through something similar, struggles the same as I do.. the feelings, thoughts and depression… feeling alone, sadness and despair… the one thing that you are not is alone. You are not alone! I suspect sadly that many many have felt the way I do right now. I have found that it helps tremendously when I read about a parent who describes their grief and I can relate.. I know then that I am not alone or defective. There is no wrong or right way for us to grieve our children. It’s a journey that we all must take unwillingly… kicking, screaming and crying our way through it and it helps to share. I hope in some small way I have helped you. The sun will rise, the birds will sing and the world will be consumed with what’s new while we stay somewhere in the past existing in today’s world. But we are here. I will continue to tell my sons story and lash out against bullying and violence, I will keep moving forward the best I can for my son. As you will do for you and yours.

Love and hugs to all, Angela, KennyBugs Momma!

#WEROARFORKENNYBUG

#BEKIND

#ITSEASY

The last picture of me and KennyBug, my son and best friend. Forever 17! Should be 21!

Daily outburts..

Any given day, you could see me break down, bawl, get angry and hear my pleas with God.. atleast once, but noone sees. I hide my tears, fears that the days ahead seem to hard to face, and contempt with the fact that my son is gone. I hide it all. Why? No one seems to know what to do, what to say, how to act with me.. I dont blame them, I dont know what I would do in their shoes. I have noticed that my loss is not one that anyone else wants to think about or imagine, again I don’t blame them.. before I was an angel mom, I didnt want to either. We carry our children in womb, in our arms and through life never ever imagining that one day your job as their mother would end. All the dreams and hope’s that you had for your child would stay just that.. everything that comes with mothering is forever.. forever now is my remaining life without my son. Forever is the way it feels, sounds, is. Too long. It’s so unnatural, unfair and cruel.

To not get that Goodbye, the last words- I love you with all my heart- screaming the words as if to make sure he could hear me.. over and over and over, pleaing please dont go… my last memory with my son was devastating. And I’m mad. Life as I knew it, the mother of 4 healthy, rambunctious, fun loving boys was over. I am and will always be a proud mother of 4 boys but now I have to say “but my Kenny passed away”. Crushing.

I send hugs to every parent who has lost a child. From the second our childs heart beat stops ours stay broken forever. We are never the same but somehow life has to go on. I am still learning how that works. Sadly I have found that there are many many of us and a club noone gets invited to or wants to be a part of but we are in The Angel child Mommy /Daddy club. The club where time means nothing and words help ease our exile from the world.

I write to help myself and to help others know that you are not alone.

Love Kenny’s Momma, Angela.

#WEROARFORKENNYBUG

#BEKIND

#ITSEASY

Laughter…

Something I’ve recently noticed is when I am able to laugh, the simple form of laughter, comes with tears. The saying ” I laughed until I cried” has become my normal. Seems strange, I mean it happens and have experienced it before but now it’s basically everytime. First few times I chalked it up to just being emotional and so did my husband!! But the other day at my husbands expense our son and I had so much laughter as he awoke a nap and his bed head was out of this world crazy.. I laughed so hard while crying, I mean tears running down my face. My son and husband were definitely giving me the look as if to ask ” what is wrong with you?” Haha! Since that moment of the most intense laughter I have experienced in such a long time I have wondered about the ” laughing till we cry” saying.

Besides the medical reasoning for such a response to something funny I think in some cases as my own its just a flood of the two emotions we’ve held in for far too long. Its difficult for me to laugh. To find things worthy. Laughing to me since losing my son has been far and in between. I haven’t been allowing myself the necessary cry that I need on a regular bases to let out my feelings.. trying to look ok all the time has taken it toll on me. At that moment of full on laughter my emotions just released at the same time.. making it a laugh to remember, haha! My point being is although we are consumed by grief, sadness and heartache by the loss of our children/loved ones we all still deserve the feeling of laughter.. to find humor and joy. It feels like a betrayal of some sorts but its really not. In that moment of the hysterical site of my husband… if Kenny were here with us he would of been laughing so loud with his wonderful laugh with his brother and I. I think that was why my emotions mixed. Joy and sadness at once. A moment, a simple moment, and I wanted our son here to share it with us. Our family have had our fair share of comedy and laughter filled our home. It was nice to witness again. Laughter can be missed and needed in our lives to thrive.

I’m just a grieving Mother who is learning daily while on the journey to live without my child. Tip 1. Laugh when you can.

Angela Suttner

A new to me type of grief.

The last few weeks I have been experiencing a new-diffrent kind of grief, pain, heartache. I am not sure why the shift in my journey. The desperation, need, urgency to see my child has been extreme. Maintaining any kind of functioning life has been a failure, depression has set in. Every year since Kenny’s passing from the peak of holiday season through January has been a struggle for me and I usually have set backs but this year has been different. So much has happened and changed for our family in the past 6 months, enough to break even the healthiest of minds but I’ve been able to put it behind me and still keep moving forward, even if it’s at a snail’s pace.

KennyBugs birthday hit me so hard this year. My son is 21 years old now. A milestone for all. One that he didnt get to experience. This birthday I had to make myself focus on all Kenny’s 17 birthdays, to remember him little. The way he sang ” Happy Party” instead of ” Happy Birthday”… we would all laugh, it was so cute. He would sing it with such dance and happiness in his eyes. It hurt not to beable to give him his Birthday hug like the 17 years I had. He didnt get to request his Birthday dinner, go out and celebrate with friends.. non of that. His future, all he would of done and missed these past 3 years, its all so painful and so unfair. When I sit and imagine what Kenny would be doing today… I have to stop myself, it hurts to much.

So I guess that is where this new grief is coming from. Up until this point I’ve been grieving the Kenny he was. Now I am grieving the Kenny he would become. Should have become.

I suspect I will have several points through my remaining life of these types of shift, change in my grief. Makes sense: The milestones a parent looks forward to for their child does not end with their death. Your wish for them to experience all those things doesn’t go away.

Love, Angie, KennyBugs Momma!